Interstate 787 runs north along the Hudson River from I-87 (New York Thruway) and U.S. 9W (Southern Boulevard) through Albany, Menands and Watervliet. Turning east alongside NY 7 at Green Island, I-787 spans the Hudson River on the Collar City Bridge into Troy. NY 787 spurs northward from the cloverleaf interchange with I-787 and NY 7 to the city of Cohoes.
The I-787 Exit 1 Connector extends west from the wye interchange (Exit 1) linking I-787 with the New York Thruway at Exit 23. Inventoried by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) as NY 912S, the freeway spur connects I-787 with U.S. 9W (Southern Boulevard) at Hoffman Avenue in south Albany.
Interstate 787 was planned as The Riverfront Route along the Hudson River in Albany during the early 1950s.1 I-787 was part of the proposed urban Interstate numerology for New York approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) on November 10, 1958. The number was the result of being the 4th spur branch in order from south to north in the state as the numbering plan developed:
- I-187 – proposed Crosswestchester Expressway east from I-87 (New York Thruway) to I-95 at Port Chester, revised to I-487, and ultimately became a part of I-287.
- I-387 – proposed New York Thruway west from I-87 at Elmsford across the Tappan Zee Bridge to Suffern, became part of I-287 and ultimately part of a westward realignment of I-87 off what became I-684.
- I-587 – spur into Kingston.